August Live 2014
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It's often said that Ol' Pete was never the same again after WWI, and that the rest of his life was a downward spiral into alcoholism, poverty and mental illness—or what we might today classify as PTSD. But the fact remains that for one brief shining season in 1920, Alexander regained the glory of his prime, caught lightning in a bottle once more, and proceeded to mercilessly unleash it on opposing batters.
Here was a phenom who averaged 27 wins and 200 strikeouts through his first 7 major-league campaigns and was well on his way to setting nearly every lifetime pitching record in the books. Then came "The War to End All Wars." As SABR biographer Jan Finkel recounts, "Alexander spent seven weeks at the front under relentless bombardment that left him deaf in his left ear. Pulling the lanyard to fire the howitzers caused muscle damage in his right arm. He caught some shrapnel in his outer right ear, an injury thought not serious at the time but which may have been the progenitor of cancer almost thirty years later. He was shell-shocked. Worst of all, the man who used to have a round or two with the guys and call it a day became alcoholic and epileptic, a condition possibly caused by the skulling he'd received in Galesburg."
Yet in 1920, despite the odds and adversity, Alexander managed to rise above the mediocrity of his fifth-place Cubs team and rack up his third Triple Crown season with 27 wins, 173 strikeouts and a 1.91 ERA, plus league-leading workhorse totals in game started (40), complete games (33) and innings (363-1/3). Notwithstanding occasional flashes of brilliance over the next decade—such as two more 20-win campaigns and a historic Game 7 bases-loaded strikeout to preserve the '26 World Series—Alexander's incredible 1920 performance turned out to be his last great hurrah.
Offered here is the personal heirloom he remembered it by: A 14K-gold-filled pocket watch engraved on the reverse, "Presented To / Grover Cleveland Alexander Chicago Cubs / 27 Wins 1.91 ERA / 1920 / National League Season / January 10, 1921." Measuring 1-3/4" in diameter, the alluring timepiece is EX in appearance with a well-preserved movement and moderate overall wear commensurate with usage. We believe that internal cleaning and adjustment would restore it to working order.
Grover Cleveland Alexander 1920 Gold Pocket Watch Presented After Historic 27-Win Triple Crown Season
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